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Evolving Patterns of Vascular Lab Testing in the Hospital and Private Lab Settings

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Introduction.—We evaluated laboratory use in a 600-bed community hospital and a private practice lab. The study spanned from 1996 to 2007.

Method.—The hospital laboratory used 5 duplex scanners and 2 physiologic plethysmography units and was staffed by 7 technologists. The private laboratory expanded over time, growing from 4 technologists with 4 duplex scanners and 1 physiologic machine to 7 technologists, 7 duplex scanners, and 3 physiologic units in 2007.

Results.—A total of 43.5% of tests performed in the hospital were venous tests in 1999 and 55.5% in 2007. Cerebrovascular scans decreased (32.8% to 23.1%). Lower-extremity arterial tests also decreased. Other tests were uncommon (394 tests, or 5.1%). In the private lab cerebrovascular duplex scans decreased from 36.9% to 24.4%. Lower-extremity physiologic studies remained stable. Aortic scans became more common. Lower-extremity venous scans accounted for 14.2% of studies in 1996 and 11.8% in 2007 but with twice the number of tests.

Conclusion.—The hospital laboratory is predominantly involved in the diagnosis of venous thrombosis and cerebrovascular events. The less-used and uncommon studies such as upper-extremity arterial studies and dialysis access studies remain uncommon but are performed in greater volume in the private lab than the hospital.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-03-01

More about this publication?
  • The Journal for Vascular Ultrasound (JVU) is the official journal of the Society for Vascular Ultrasound. It consists of original scientific and educational articles, case studies, book reviews, technical reviews, ultrasound principle reviews, viewpoints, letters to the editor, and CME tests. Regular reading of JVU, published quarterly, will keep you current in your field and provide essential information that can be applied in your practice.

    Previously known as the Journal of Vascular Technology - View Volumes 16-26 here
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